Pot Culture – Volume 7: Just What the Doc. Ordered…

     “The Legend of 420” (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7027566/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) is a documentary from 2017. It’s a fascinating and informative documentary about all the positive aspects and different subcultures of the marijuana industry. It is lighthearted, quickly paced, and quite entertaining. It is not an unbiased doc. though. It is very much pro-marijuana, but that’s a good thing because there has been constant, negative propaganda towards marijuana for decades. The doc. is another useful weapon in the fight to destigmatize marijuana and have more people accept it for the quality, beneficial plant it truly is.

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     The doc. touches on many different topics, all as a way to educate and inform about the qualities and uses of marijuana. Some of the aspects discussed are the main ones that all pro-marijuana material touches upon, but it does bring up other topics that I was pleasantly surprised to learn about.

     We meet and/or hear about/from some people that have benefited from marijuana, but also, in some cases, been negatively affected by the laws against marijuana.

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     There’s a basketball coach that was fired from his first place team because he used marijuana with them. All his players refused to play until he was reinstated. We meet some “cannabis refugees” that had to move from an illegal state to a legal state because their son had a severe form of epilepsy that caused dozens of violent seizures a day. For 13 years, his seizure meds wouldn’t prevent his seizures, but they would slowly destroy his body. Once he started cannabis, his seizures significantly declined, and he was actually able to function and enjoy his life. We meet army veterans that use cannabis to fight their PTSD and other military-related ailments. We here about how they were taking more than a dozen pharmaceutical drugs every day, and how they eventually were able to stop all meds because of marijuana usage. We also hear about how they get arrested for growing their own plants. Their own country ends up causing the issues that they need marijuana for, and then arrests them for trying to successfully treat those issues.

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     The film briefly touches upon the artistic merits of marijuana. How writers, musicians, artists, and basically anyone creative can benefit from usage. They say it’s called “getting high” because it raises you above the normal to see the world differently. It also allows them to focus on their specific artistic endeavors more intensely and for longer periods of time.

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     The War on Drugs is discussed. People who have been incarcerated for marijuana possession end up getting introduced to much harsher and dangerous drugs in prison, getting them addicted. Upon release, they can’t find employment. They’re also barred from working in the legal side of the industry because of the conviction, which is ironic because their knowledge and expertise could be beneficial to the industry. It’s also a slap in their face because as they suffer the side effects of conviction, new entrepreneurs are making millions in the industry now.

     Marijuana education is discussed (Oaksterdam University, for example – https://oaksterdamuniversity.com/). Education about all aspects of marijuana and the industry is beneficial because the more knowledge people have, the less of a negative stigma there will be.

     Hemp and its many uses is also briefly touched upon. They mention that one of the main reasons marijuana is still a Schedule 1 narcotic is because if hemp became legal, and industrial hemp production started up again, numerous multi-billion dollar companies would lose millions. So, instead, they spend millions to fight legalization.

     A few of the surprising aspects that I found fascinating is that marijuana is being used an exit drug. Marijuana isn’t a gateway drug to other drugs, it’s a gateway to sobriety. It is being used to help people kick their opioid and heroin and etc. addictions. Also, the fine dining industry is evolving to include cannabis-infused foods. There are businesses and restaurants that cater specifically to the marijuana-using crowd, and they’re doing it in an upscale, safe, and supportive way. The film also briefly talks about CBD oil being used for dogs (this was such a fascinating topic that I researched it further and wrote a separate article to discuss it further).

     All of these subcultures of the marijuana industry go a long way to getting it more and more accepted by the mainstream, as well as by other groups of people that aren’t “just” stoners or “only” using it for medicinal purposes.

     It’s an intriguing, informative, and extremely beneficial documentary that’s well made. It’s obvious they’ve done their research. Like I said, they don’t try to present a balanced argument that shows both sides of the issues. It’s more of an answer/rebuttal to the decades of negative propaganda that has been issued.

     I recommend anyone – if they’re for or against marijuana in any way – to watch the documentary. You’ll definitely learn some things you didn’t know before, and hopefully it will open some eyes that were defiantly closed.

     The film packs a lot of information into its hour and a half runtime. Some topics could easily use more time and focus and attention. It’s more of a “greatest hits” of marijuana benefits as a way to inform people about the basics so they’ll hopefully do further research on the topic.

     “The Legend of 420” might not be a legendary film, but it’s a massive and important tool to use in the fight for legitimacy and destigmatization.



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